SRAM updates Guide range with S4 caliper

Trickle-down tech for trail brakes

SRAM’s S4 caliper, which used to be exclusive to the Guide Ultimate, will be added to the entire Guide range for 2016.

The Ultimate made it into the 2016 Dirt 100 and we thought, as the name suggests, that brakes don’t get much better. This means it’s pretty awesome news that the stopping power of the Ultimate is being transferred to the cheaper models.

The entire Guide range had four piston calipers before but the S4 caliper uses two pairs of unequally sized pistons that are crucially made from Moly-coated aluminium (as opposed to phenolic plastic). This apparently allows the brakes to run 20°C cooler as well as ensuring consistent engagement and rollback (the speed and distance of disengagement).


The S4 caliper also has Bleeding Edge technology that uses S4 specific adapter plugs for the bleed ports to reduce fluid loss and air contamination.


SRAM has also improved the reach adjust features on the Guide range. Whereas the old lever was prone to creeping out of position, the new design has an improved detent (think of it like a brake) that holds it in position better and also provides a more positive feel. The nub is  smaller and backwards compatible so you can update your old brakes with it if you wish.

The updates should improve the entire SRAM Guide range, but it will mean that there are small price increases. The Guide RSC will rise from £150 to £172, the Guide RS from £115 to £129 and the Guide R from £100 to £112. For comparison, the Shimano XT M8000 brakes that also made our Dirt 100 have an rrp of £99.99 but you will have to buy a rotor and adapter on top of that (£30-£45).

The updated brakes will be released in June. For more information click here.

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